Omicron across the US: Cases confirmed from LA to NYC as Biden urges country not to panic

Five states have detected the omicron variant as Biden warns that infections will rise this winter

Maroosha Muzaffar
Friday 03 December 2021 11:52
<p>New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio said that five cases of the omicron variant have been found in the New York State and urged people not to panic </p>

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio said that five cases of the omicron variant have been found in the New York State and urged people not to panic

Los Angeles confirmed the presence of omicron on Thursday, taking the number of cases of the new coronavirus variant in the country to ten.

The Los Angeles County officials announced that one person who had travelled from South Africa to LA before Thanksgiving has tested positive for the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The official said that the person was kept in isolation and is showing improvement in his symptoms without any medical care.

This comes as New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced that there were five cases of the omicron variant in the state. He urged people not to panic.

Mr Blasio said in a tweet: “We have 5 cases of the #OmicronVariant in New York State. 2 are in Queens, 1 is in Brooklyn, 1 is in an unidentified borough, and 1 is in Suffolk County. All 5 cases appear to be mild.” He added: “This is not a time to panic. This is a time to get vaccinated, get boosted, and get tested.”

New York governor Kathy Hochul said at a joint press conference with Mr Blasio in Manhattan: “We feel good about this. We’re not complacent. We’re not sitting back and saying we’re fine. We’re saying that we have so much available to us that we’re ready to deploy.”

On Wednesday, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had said that the US had registered its first case of the omicron variant of coronavirus in San Francisco, California.

CDC said in a statement that the infected person — who was vaccinated — had travelled to San Francisco from South Africa on 22 November.

Dr Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health was quoted by the New York Post as saying: “While we can’t know for certain the impact of omicron at this time, the good news is that we already know how to reduce transmission and slow spread using both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

At least five US states have detected the highly transmissible omicron variant now, according to the latest reports, bringing the total number of cases to 10.

California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York and Minnesota have registered the presence of omicron so far.

The person detected with the new variant in Hawaii was unvaccinated and had moderate symptoms.

Dr Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University and former Baltimore health commissioner tweeted that “there will be many more cases to come.”

Minnesota governor Tim Walz said that the presence of omicron in the state was “concerning, but it is not a surprise. We know that this virus is highly infectious and moves quickly throughout the world.”

He urged people to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday also announced new testing requirements for international travellers to combat the spread of the omicron variant in the country and also said that in the coming wells, all Americans would have access to free, rapid at-home Covid-19 testing.

Mr Biden said at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland: “We’re going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion.” However, he warned that the infections will rise this winter.

Less than 60 per cent of the population in the US is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data.

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